Tag Archives: lunch

Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

L.A. Gourmet Lunch

There is, and sometimes it shows up unexpectedly at your desk.

L.A. Gourmet catering left us with some samples at work, and the vegetarian portabello was assigned to me.

Inside the neat little box, I found:

  • A sandwich of hummus, provolone cheese, sauteed mushrooms (not the large cap I was expecting, but a few tiny pieces), yellow peppers, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce. It was a little thin for a sandwich, and I expected much more mushroom to live up to the name. The roll was tasty.
  • A bag of super-crispy kettle crunch potato chips – my favorite variety. (Salt and vinegar is actually my favorite flavor, but these are my favorite texture.)
  • A cup of pasta salad, swimming in dressing that was light on oil and heavy on vinegar and sugar. Not bad, if a bit ordinary.
  • A bag of apple slices. Pre-cut produce makes me nervous, but they tasted good.
  • A brownie with a caramel center.

I didn’t mean to eat the the whole brownie. I can already tell that I should not have eaten the whole brownie. I feel like a hummingbird on crack. At least I have the energy to prepare for the sugar crash later this afternoon. Maybe this is the price of a free lunch. Ugh.

Random Eats: Week of July 31

Tofu with Black Bean Garlic Sauce from Cravings Restaurant, Champaign, IL. We love the owner of this place. He will cook us anything. My favorite dish is the green beans with spicy lemongrass. Their szechuan chili oil dishes are served sizzling-hot in little iron kettles, and will make you cough from across the room, they are so extremely spicy.

Black Bean Garlic Tofu

Our regular Channa Masala, cooked on the stove instead of the crock pot, with added cubes of super firm tofu. After marinating in the sauce, the texture is very, very close to paneer. I foresee a lot of vegetable + indian tomato gravy + cubed tofu combinations in my future.

channa masala with tofu

Pita with Cashew Goat Cheese (Vegetarian Times), fresh basil, and local tomatoes. With some fruit and nuts, it was enough to fuel a 9-mile run.

tomato basil pita with vegan goat cheese

Very Red Berry Smoothie. Super thick, almost like a dessert. I think this one contained frozen dark sweet cherries, frozen mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries), kale, golden flax meal, coconut milk, and a little cocoa powder.

red berry smoothie

I didn’t get a picture of the finished product for the ingredients below, but they became sauteed zucchini with Penzeys Greek Seasoning. Lance and I battled over the second helpings.

zucchini with greek seasoning

Quick Polenta with Black Beans and Mole

polenta with black beans and mole

Today’s lunch is brought to you by the secret word: drool.

Here we have a few slices of prepared polenta and black beans, topped with Doña Maria Mole. This prepared mole comes as a sauce that you can use right out of a little square Tetra-Pak, about the size of a juice box. It’s convenient for our family, because I can serve the omni-people their chicken with mole, and save some sauce for topping my veg protein of choice. (I should try it with tempeh.) It all comes together in under 5 minutes, minus cooking the Mexican Rice on the side (which takes about 25 minutes).

I packed up two lunch portions in these Pyrex “frozen dinner”-sized containers. They’re about the same size as one of those overpriced meals you buy out of the freezer. I’ve eaten my share of Healthy Choice, and they never compared to my own leftovers. I’m trying to phase out plastic containers and use more glass for reheating. These containers come with plastic lids which do an adequate job of sealing, except for really juicy foods. When I’m concerned about leakage, I seal the container with plastic wrap under the lid.

Pyrex lunch containers

And… check out my new To-Go Ware utensil set! It’s made from bamboo, and includes chopsticks and a fabric carrying case (not pictured). It fits in my small purse, so it can go to restaurants, or wherever I eat my packed lunches. The sets retail for $12.95 each at the manufacturer’s web site, but Common Ground Food Co-Op has them for only $9.99.